Winter is off to a heck of a start, even in southern cities like Houston. The freezing cold temps make one road hazard a lot more likely — black ice.
Do you know how to safely navigate your vehicle over patches of black ice? Learn how to recognize and be prepared to drive on this treacherous winter condition with the following tips from The Weather Channel.
Black ice isn’t like the thick, whitish accumulations of ice that plagues the northern states’ highways. Instead, this thin coat of ice is transparent, which makes it appear black like the highway.
Black ice becomes a problem when the mercury on the thermometer rises during the day while the sun is out then plummets again at night. If there was any precipitation or melting during the daylight hours, the road surfaces quickly freeze over with a thin layer of ice.
It doesn’t even have to rain or snow to create black ice conditions. In a humid climate like Houston’s heavy fog and dew can form enough moisture from the air to cause black ice to freeze on the highways. Roads shaded by natural effects or buildings often have patches of the deadly ice, which also forms on overpasses and bridges.
Part of the danger of black ice is that it is so difficult to see before drivers lose control. Anticipating encountering black ice allows drivers to mentally prepare to navigate slick areas.
If you do wind up traveling through black ice, don’t turn your wheel. Doing that almost guarantees drivers will lose control and go into a skid.
Take your foot off the brake, as well as the accelerator. Let the car come out of its skid on its own before depressing the gas pedal.
Hitting a patch of black ice can create collisions. If you get injured in an accident caused by black ice, your Houston personal injury attorney may be able to identify multiple defendants in the case, such as those whose job it was to maintain the integrity of the road’s surface in inclement weather.
Source: The Weather Channel, “What Is Black Ice And Why Is It So Dangerous?,” Brian Donegan, accessed Jan. 05, 2018